El Dorado County is accepting applications for its 2013-14 grand jury.
The El Dorado civil grand jury is an investigatory body created for the protection of society and the enforcement of the law. It is an arm of the court and a representative of the public. Although it is an arm of the court, it operates independently of direct court supervision. It is a check against governmental authority, a press release stated. It is not a branch of the county, nor is it answerable to the district attorney. The grand jury acts as an investigative body to ensure that county, special district, and city government is being effectively run. The grand jury is not a jury for a trial; instead it looks at systems and processes.
Jurors are regularly called upon to confer with government officials and other citizens in order to gain information and insight concerning matters under investigation. Being grand juror requires a substantial time commitment that includes attendance at meetings and committee meetings, investigating and preparing written reports. The El Dorado County grand jury sets its own meeting schedule. However, jurors can typically expect to serve a minimum of six to seven hours over two days per week. Investigative committee chairs and the foreperson may expect to serve 10-20 hours per week.
Applicants must be Untied States citizens age 18 or older and have resided in the county for at least one year at the time of the swearing-in date, and cannot hold an elected office. The judges of the Superior Court will select names from those submitted, as well as other nominees, and currently seated grand jurors who wish to be held over, to be put into the jury pool. Nineteen jurors are then selected in a random drawing from this pool. Final selection will take place in late June. Jurors are expected to be present. Jurors serve for a period of one year, commencing July 1.
For more information, visit www.edcgov.us/grandjury. The deadline to submit an application is May 17.